Papers and Conferences

One of the things I most enjoy in my Higher Education career is meeting other researchers and sharing ideas. I am a very experienced public speaker with an extensive range of speaking engagements from keynote addresses to hour-long lectures to shorter panel papers and roundtable contributions. In my career so far, I have delivered over sixty research papers in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA, both in person and online. I enjoy giving papers to a wide range of audiences, from specialist researchers to learned society members to public gatherings.

Recent presentations are itemised here (starred papers by invitation):

*November 2021 (All Souls College, Oxford University): ‘Diffusion of Governmentality in the Western Indian Ocean c. 300-800 CE’, a presentation to the All Souls Medieval Seminar.

*October 2021 (St Andrews University): ‘Palmyra and the Indian Ocean: rethinking the economics of an ancient oasis’, presented online to the St Andrews Classics Seminar series.

*June 2021 (University of Warsaw/National Museum, Warsaw): ‘Instruments of trade, artefacts of travel: late Roman coins in India’, presented online to international conference ‘Finds of Foreign Coins from India’, co-organised by the Department of Numismatics and Museology, University of Warsaw and the Department of Coins and Medals, National Museum, Warsaw.

*March 2021 (University of Birmingham): Closing reflections at the Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies on the theme of Nature and the Environment, delivered as a conversation with writer, consultant and environmental scientist, Giulio Boccaletti.

*February 2021 (King’s College, University of Cambridge): ‘Economic and Political Integration in the Late Antique/ Early Medieval Western Indian Ocean’, delivered online to the King’s College Medieval Seminar.

*February 2021 (Azim Premji University, Bengaluru): ‘Open Access in HSS in the UK: the conflict between big ideas and small communities’ in the online seminar ‘Open access to Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) research information’.

*February 2021 (Oxford Numismatic Society): ‘Numismatic perspectives on the Western Indian Ocean in Late Antiquity’ delivered online as part of the regular seminar series of the Oxford Numismatic Society.

*July 2020 (Bilkent University and Hacettepe University, online): ‘Crisis and Migrations across the Mediterranean frontier: was it really all about a Dark Ages after all?’, a panel discussion withJonathan Jarrett (University of Leeds), Nicholas Bakirtzis (Cyprus Research Institute) and Luca Zavagno (Bilkent University), in the public discussion series Global Byzantium at Ankara: from past to present.

*May 2020 (University of Cologne): ‘’Saintly women: Byzantine and Indian hagiography in comparative perspective’, in the public lecture series Byzanz global: Geschichte und Kultur des byzantinischen Reiches in welthistorischer Perspektive. Rescheduled due to Covid-19 to May/June 2021.

*March 2020 (University of Birmingham): ‘Back through Byzantium: textual transmission, global history and the journey of a travel account’, at the joint seminar of the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies and the Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages. Rescheduled due to Covid-19 to October 2021, for digital presentation.

*November 2019 (National Museum of China, Beijing): ‘A third way? Currency production in India from Antiquity to the Middle Ages in a global context’, at Coins and Empire: International Conference on the Interaction of Trade and Empire in the Numismatic Perspective.

July 2019 (University of Leeds): ‘Discourses on absence, or Kalabhra and and Vakataka monetary policy in early medieval southern India’, at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, on a panel organised by myself and the Birkbeck Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

*March 2019 (KCL): ‘Foreign trade in the early Byzantine Empire: beyond the Silk Road’, at the KCL Seminar Series in Late Antique and Byzantine History.

*December 2018 (University of Lincoln): ‘New players, old models? Muslim and Christian actors in the western Indian Ocean from the 7th-10th centuries’, at British Academy ‘Rising Stars’ network conference led by Dr Rob Portass. Video to be published on British Academy website.

October 2018 (University of Ghana, Accra): ‘Back through Byzantium: textual transmission and the global premodern’ at the conference ‘Classics and Global Humanities’.

July 2018 (University of Leeds): ‘Between remembrance and necessity in Crusader-period architecture’, at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, on a panel organised by the project ‘Re-evaluating the Art of the Crusades’.

April 2018 (University of Leeds): ‘What is the difference between a frontier and an edge?’, at the British Academy-funded conference ‘Re-thinking the Medieval Frontier II. Invited for publication.

*February 2018 (Bilkent University, Ankara): ‘Is an island always a hub? Sokotra, Sri Lanka and the shape of commerce in the Late Antique western Indian Ocean’, at the British Academy-funded conference ‘Not the Final Frontier: the world of medieval islands’, subsequently published.

*February 2018 (Bilkent University, Ankara): ‘Speaking in many voices: Byzantine coins in south India as sources for maritime and inland histories’, Bilkent Public Lecture.

*January 2018 (Department of Archaeology and Museums, Telangana State, Hyderabad): ‘Roman and Byzantine coins and the economy of ancient Telangana’ at the Second International Conference on Telangana History, ‘Telangana Through Ages’, in press in conference proceedings. My reflection on this event for the Birkbeck Blog can be found here. The event was also covered by The Hindu in the article, ‘A Walk through Ages‘.

*November 2017 (Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery): ‘In the evenings Mr Hart liked to read his books or look at his coins’, at the conference ‘“Something for my native town”: recent discoveries and new directions in the R. E. Hart Collection. A version for publication has been accepted, pending revisions by the Journal of the History of Collections, revisions due May 2019.

*November 2017 (Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham): ‘Sri Lankan coins in the Barber collection?’, at the conference ‘The Barber Coin Collection: Past, Present and Future Research’. 

*5th July 2017, Leeds: ’Who ate all the pepper? Definitions and concepts of ‘elite’ and ‘non-elite consumption’ in the early medieval Mediterranean’, presented at the Leeds International Medieval Congress on a panel organised by the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies. Invited for publication in the edited volume arising from the panel, submitted and with editors.

*26th June 2017: ’Byzantine gold coins in south India’, presented at the International Colloquium on Byzantine Gold Coins in Late Antiquity, Northeast Normal University, Changchun. Submitted for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Ancient Civilizations, peer-reviewed and in press.

*24th April 2017, Leeds: ’Seen from across the sea: India in the Byzantine worldview’, presented at the Medieval Group Seminar at the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds.

25th March 2017, Birmingham: ‘India in the Byzantine worldview’, presented at the 25th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham. Submitted for publication and through editorial review.

*9th March 2017, St Andrews: ’By land and sea: comparing Byzantine and Sasanian policies towards eastern trade, c. 350-600’, presented at the Middle East History and Iranian Studies Seminar, University of St Andrews.

*17th January 2017, Hyderabad: ‘Worth and value: new readings of Roman coins in the collection of the Telangana State Archaeology Museum’ presented at the international conference Rediscovering Telangana.

9th July 2016, Leeds: ’Trading with the enemy across the Byzantine-Sassanian frontier’, presented at the Leeds International Medieval Congress on the session Exploring the Medieval Frontier. 

28th May 2016, London: ’Coming or going? Ideas of movement and understanding Byzantine coins in India’, presented at the Annual Birkbeck Medieval Seminar, on the theme Things on the Move.

*18th February 2016, London: ’Endorsed by western privilege: modelling imperial power in Western Indian Ocean commerce’, presented at the Comparative Histories of South Asia Seminar, Institute of Historical Research.

*3rd December 2015, London: ’Late Antique (c. 300-800) links between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean: disconnecting connectivity’, presented at the conference, Geography and Infrastructure of trade in early Islam (800-1000 CE), SOAS. Paper under review for publication in the Journal of Late Antiquity, report due April 2019.

25th September 2015, Taormina (Sicily): ’All that glitters…: the Byzantine gold solidus, c. 300-1092’, presented at the 25th International Numismatic Congress, Taormina, Sicily. Published.

Conference Organisation

Prior to taking up my position at Birkbeck in 2015, I had organised, alone or as part of a committee, seven conferences and three panels or whole-day sessions at international conferences. Conference organisation since joining Birkbeck are itemised here:

1-4th July 2019, University of Leeds

    • Three panels (9 speakers) organised on behalf of the Birkbeck Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies on the title ‘Birkbeck Materialities’ at Leeds International Medieval Congress.

25th November 2017-8th June 2019, Birkbeck

    • Working with Dr Luke Lavan of the University of Kent to organise four meetings of the ‘Late Antique Archaeologies’ network series at Birkbeck. 

2nd-5th July 2018, University of Leeds

    • Three panels (9 speakers) organised at the on the theme of ‘Byzantine Studies in China’, giving speakers from HE institutions in China a chance to meet with and present their research to scholars at the Leeds International Medieval Congress. This involved coordinating with colleagues at four institutions in China and working successfully with one scholar to obtain funding through the Universities China Council London.

20-24th November 2017, HCA, Birkbeck

    • A roundtable and PhD workshop organised with Dr Luca Zavagno, Bilkent University, Ankara. 

15th November 2017, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

    • Co-organiser of a one-day colloquium at Birkbeck with Dr Mattia Cosimo Chiriatti, University of Barcelona, on propaganda and persuasion and exile and punishment in Late Antiquity.

3rd-6th July 2017, University of Leeds

    • Co-organiser of three panels (nine speakers) on the theme of ‘Writing the Other’ for the Leeds International Medieval Congress.

25th-27th March 2017, 25th Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies

    • Symposiarch alongside Prof. Leslie Brubaker (University of Birmingham) and Dr Daniel Reynolds (University of Birmingham). With three days’ of papers and over 100 delegates, this is the premier annual seminar in European Byzantine studies. I was responsible for raising funds, communicating with speakers and managing student helpers during the event. The proceedings are currently being edited for publication.

28th May 2016, Annual Birkbeck Medieval Seminar

    • On the theme Things on the Move. Sole organiser. 4 speakers and 45 attendees for a one-day event.